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Francesco's in White Plains: solid red-sauce Italian-American

k
kdgchow Mar 14, 2011 07:28 PM

My wife and I had been looking for a replacement for Ianelli's on Mamaroneck Avenue for our red-sauce Italian fix. We may have found it just a few blocks down the road.

Saw some old mentions of Francesco's on Chowhound, but it was a friend's enthusiastic recommendation that finally got us to go.

First of all, the place is like a time capsule. Faux wood paneling, formerly plush booths, laminated menus, low lights - if you grew up in the NYC area between the 50s and 90s, places like this ruled the earth. Not a lot of tables, and it was packed on a Saturday night, so we had to wait nearly an hour for a table.

We split a plain pizza, which was very good. A thin, crispy crust, with a fresh-tasting sauce flecked with basil and a thin layer of salty cheese - a cross between NY-style pizza and bar pizza like Colony Grill in Stamford.

We also split an order of baked ziti, which came under a thick blanket of mozzarella in a small lasagna dish. Again, the sauce tasted fresh, and like actual tomatoes - not the leaden, tomato paste-based stuff you get in so many other Italian-American places and pizza joints.

All told, about $25 for plenty of food for two. Looking around at other folks' dishes, I saw huge chicken and veal dishes, as well as spaghetti with meatballs the size of tennis balls.

Don't look for any fancy cooking here, just solid, gut-busting Italian-American food. I'm eager to explore the menu, starting with their meat gravy. If anyone has any other recommended dishes, I'd love to hear them.

Francesco's Restaurant
600 Mamaroneck Avenue
White Plains, NY 10605
(914) 946-3359

  1. c
    cubanat Mar 15, 2011 11:10 AM

    You said it perfectly! Captured this place in all it's glory! We love it! The kitchen makes a pan fried shrimp dish that is not on the menu (last time we were there anyway) that is killer. 8 or 12 decent size shrimp in garlic & oil. absolute perfction. thanks for review!

    1. p
      PlasticMoonRain Mar 15, 2011 05:43 PM

      This restaurant has always been a favorite of my family. Really good red sauce Italian restaurant in kind of an Old World-flavor setting. Never had the pizza but always wondered how it was since that's a dish usually reserved for pizza specialty places.

      2 Replies
      1. re: PlasticMoonRain
        k
        kdgchow Mar 16, 2011 06:55 PM

        It ain't artisanal - don't even compare it with pizza like at Tarry Lodge. It's just your standard, gas-fired oven pizza, just done well. Might not seem like much, until you realize how many mediocre-to-bad pizza joints are around.

        -----
        Tarry Lodge
        18 Mill St, Port Chester, NY 10573

        1. re: kdgchow
          p
          pierogi and bigos Mar 18, 2011 12:59 PM

          Glad to hear that Francesco's is stil going strong. Used to go there quite a bit, but haven't in several years. Will need to revisit with the family. Still haven't had a better shrimp fra diavlo!

      2. m
        martyl9 Mar 19, 2011 11:26 AM

        try the mini pizza with peppers next time. the mini's dough is real thin, if that is the way you like it. the tomatoe pasta sauce is different than the red sauce used on the pizza. the pasta sauce seems to be too sweet for my taste but it is the way Frank likes it. any grilled food is good; fish or the lamb chops (seven or eight chops for $25) Spinach and brocolli is the standard vegetable, with garlic or not. the Francese sauce on chicken, shriimp or sole is quit good. all dishes are large. I need to try the vodka pasta as well as the mushroom ravioli. caeser salad is good with or without the anchovies. It might take a few visits to find the dishes that are to your liking.

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